university of georgia

Aqua Vitae

University of Georgia, 2001 - $16,500

Aqua Vitae Enterprises looked to manufacture, market, and distribute a patented (U.S. Patent #5,593,678) new drug, called Aqua Vitae, that significantly reduces the mortality rate of ornamental and edible fish during the process of handling and shipping from over 50% to under 5%. In the ornamental fish industry, this total loss exceeds $50 million per year. The loss is even larger for the edible fish industry.

In testing, the use of Aqua Vitae has reduced these losses by more than 80% by providing a temporary boost to the immune systems of the fish involved. This E-Team researched the optimal performance and packaging characteristics this industry would seek in such a drug, and developed a plan for bringing it to market.

ADHD Interactive Technologies

University of Georgia, 2001 - $13,250

ADHD InterActive Technologies (InterActive), an E-Team from the University of Georgia, developed an innovative set of PC-based games and exercises designed to enhance the cognitive skills of children suffering from Attention Deficit, Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Currently, three to five percent of all children between the ages of four and thirteen have been diagnosed with ADHD. Present treatment options include both drugs and behavioral therapies. Neither treatment "cures" the disorder, nor do they enhance the development of any mental skills on the part of the children.

Most practitioners in this field suggest that ADHD children are deficient in the following six areas:

  • selective attention
  • sustained concentration
  • auditory discrimination
  • visual discrimination
  • impulse control
  • encoding skills
InterActive worked with Dr. Malcolm Smith to develop a series of PC-based games and exercises ADHD children can play to enhance their cognitive abilities in each of the above areas. Based on market research, InterActive concluded there is a large and a highly committed market for these products.

Zymex Pharmaceuticals

University of Georgia, 2000 - $17,000

This E-Team developed proof of concept for a drug discovery technology to identify promising protease inhibitors for application in a wide variety of diseases. The project was based on work done by a graduate student and a business plan developed for a competition at UGA in which it took first prize. The team, consisting of the grad student and a group of MBA and law students, assembled a group of technical and business advisors with the intention of launching a startup to commercialize the drug discovery process. The process, called Zymaccel, has several advantages over traditional approaches that could result in improved cost efficiency and better performing drugs with fewer side effects. Tests of the first compound identified with this system were promising. The E-Team proved the process by identifying three additional compounds, and continued to pursue commercial development of the process and product.

ThruSkin Technologies

University of Georgia, 2003 - $18,750

Thirty-two million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis and spend $2.5 billion annually on various products to deal with it. Until recently, however, individuals with osteoarthritis had no effective treatments for their affliction; their only recourse was pain-killers, usually NSAIDs, which can have serious side effects. Numerous studies over the past decade have shown that glucosamine, a natural sugar, can stop further deterioration of the arthritic joint and even help rebuild the cartilage. Glucosamine has been marketed successfully in pill form, but only 1% of the glucosamine in the pill reaches the affected joint. Topical glucosamine creams are on the market, but none of them are able to get more than 3-5% across the skin barrier. Using novel technology, the Thruskin Technologies E-Team developed a glucosamine-based anti-osteoarthritis topical cream, Rejuvalin, that delivers 70% of the glucosamine across the skin barrier to the damaged joint.

The E-Team consisted of a pharmaceutical PhD student and three MBA students. The team's advisors were a professor of strategy and entrepreneurship, an associate professor of pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences and a pharmaceutical industry consultant.

Maestro Music Box

University of Georgia, 2004 - $16,950

This E-Team developed an advanced digital audio player, the Maestro Music Box. Music is entered into the box in either MP3 format or CDs and can store up to 12,000 songs. The box interacts with almost all types of portable audio devices: you can download music from your Apple i-Pod and vice-versa; you can create CDs for your car or walkman; you can control the box from anywhere in the world through any internet compatible device (PC, cell phone, PDA).

Businesses that regularly play music (bars, restaurants, retail chains) currently use a variety of devices, from playing single CDs to laptops with media players to subscribing to programming services that broadcast music to their locations. The Maestro Music Box could help these businesses catalogue and manage their music, allowing them to quickly and easily synchronize music across multiple locations.

The E-Team consisted of two MBA students and one undergraduate industrial and electrical engineering major. Advisors to the project were a professor of strategy and entrepreneurship, a software development specialist, an engineering consultant and the director of a business strategy firm.

Update: Since receiving funding the team has switched gears toward a software approach and are now in beta-testing. Visit getmaestro.com for more.

Internet Security Company

University of Georgia, 2005 - $20,000

This E-Team developed the SecureWebSurfer (SWS) USB Key, a technology that enhances computer security while surfing the Internet. SWS is a USB drive that contains a pre-installed Linux Operating System, a Firefox web browser, and no writeable memory. A user inserts the SWS before turning on her computer, and within thirty seconds of power-up an active web browser appears, allowing the user full Internet access. While using the key, no viruses, worms, or other damaging software can be downloaded to the user’s computer because of the key’s lack of writeable memory and the fact that the key prevents access to the computer’s writeable memory, eliminating almost all security risks associated with today’s computers. Once the key is removed, the computer returns to its original functionality.

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